1994 Tasting Notes
Sipdown, 145. Taking the time to post this note just because it’s a sipdown. I got the remainder of a sample of this from my swap with wheezybee, which I was only too happy to accept. I didn’t have any regular Laoshan Black in my cupboard, so this is a sipdown. Mmmm, still soooo good. Love this tea, whether it’s straight, in a blend, or the first picking that I still have. It’s become a comforting flavor to me at this point, the taste of delicious black tea.
I’ve been a bit scarce around here, and will continue to be, because I am entering the home stretch of my dissertation and I don’t really have time to do anything but work. I am reading Steepster still, but tasting notes generally take too much time. I’m throwing a quick one for this tea up, though, because it’s new to me. Thanks to wheezybee for this sample.
Due to some less than stellar experiences with some Mariage teas, I have not done a lot of seeking them out. I know they can vary widely because the bases can be very different, but I’ve never been impressed enough to go through the (somewhat considerable) effort of trying more of them. However, when wheezybee contacted me about a swap, I decided this would be a good opportunity to try out some of their Earl Greys.
I am certainly more pleased with this tea than most. It’s nicely blended… The bergamot is nice and well-balanced, citrusy and slightly floral, and the base tea is smooth, without astringency or off notes (for me). Nothing about it really stands out, but it’s a tasty Earl Grey, and it does make me believe that there are other MF teas that I would likely enjoy.
Sipdown, 140. Gongfu of the afternoon. It really takes a while to get around to trying and sipping down all my Verdant reserve club teas when I only really have weekend afternoons for gongfu sessions, and then there are plenty of weekend days when I am too busy.
This may be an example of the rule that if you eat/drink something enough times you will develop a taste for it. I was never all that into wuyi oolongs, but I am beginning to appreciate them more and more. The roasted grains flavor is growing on me. I see now that I really enjoyed my first session with this tea as well. It’s just a really well balanced wuyi oolong, I guess. Glad to have had this one!
Sipdown, 141. I sent the package of this that I got in my happy bag away in a swap a while ago, but I still had the sample bag kicking around. I figured I should at least try it, although I was not optimistic because it had the dreaded darjeeling in it.
When I brewed it up, it smelled pretty good, honestly. I may have to explore assams a bit (beyond Butiki’s PTA) because I think they do have potential for me. I used to think that assams were the part of the blend I didn’t like, but now I think that it was likely certain (but not all) keemuns. Maybe certain assams as well, I guess. Anyway, when this was hot it was pretty decent, though not particularly interesting, but as it cooled it got very bitter for some reason. Not sad I sent the rest of it away, though I liked it better than I thought I would.
Well this is a sipdown but I somehow didn’t add this one to my cupboard, so my number remains at 142. I asked Stacy for a sample of this one with my last order because a marshmallow-leaf herbal sounded intriguing.
This was really tasty! Creamy, with a nice smooth texture, very dessert-y. I’ve never had Butiki’s Creamy Eggnog, so I can’t compare it to that, but I am happy with this one for sure. I don’t know that it screams ‘cake’ to me, but that’s fine really, it’s still tasty. Once it gets cold and I want to have an herbal tea every night in the evening I may have to pick some of this up… I’m always on the lookout for tasty herbals without rooibos (yuck) or hibiscus (only on occasion). This one certainly fit the bill.
I just had a thought… I wonder how the marshmallow leaf would do with cacao nibs for a kind of cocoa-marshmallow herbal? Mmm.
Mmm, a comforting milky-sugary pot of tea for the afternoon. I’m indulging in this one, which is delicious with additions. It’s so delicious with additions that it’s one of the only teas I would actually consider keeping around for merely that purpose. I love the almond-melon candy flavor. Calissons are not a common tea flavor, so I have to take it where I can find it!
I did a bunch of gongfu steeps of this one in my gaiwan but combined them into one big glass. It was essentially the same tea:water ratio, but instead of one long steep it was multiple 10 second steeps, so it would be interesting to know how it would taste different from a western steep of it. But of course teas like this seem to beg to be short steeped, even if you are just going to combine them.
This was fresh and lovely. Green, sweet, like sugar snap peas. I rarely crave a straight green, but I like having them around. Obviously this is not one I will keep around longterm, but it is a pleasure to drink.
I was up way too late last night because I went to see the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) and had a long drive home, and then I had to get up way too early this morning to teach. Ugh. So now that I’m sitting down at my desk I brewed up a cup of this extra strong to hopefully energize me. Seven pearls this time, instead of six!
It turned out pretty well. This may be one of those teas that works better bolder than it does when brewed the way I usually would. It has more body, but hasn’t acquired too much bitterness or astringency. It is a bit like unsweetened cocoa powder in flavor, which is to say a little too bitter for me, but it’s not bad.
This is the tea I made (hot) to replace my cold brewed disaster. It was, of course, delicious. Peachy, floral, refreshing. The jasmine on this is fairly subtle but really makes this more interesting than just a standard peach flavored green tea. Glad to have a bit more of this one around.
I made some of this tea cold brewed, and I knew from the beginning that it was going to be bad. I think I never brewed any of this before in part because the dry leaf smells like nasty fake berry cough syrup, but it’s been so long since I opened it up that I had forgotten. I brewed some anyway on the off chance that it would settle down.
I am wondering if the batch of this that I got is different somehow than the ones that others have tried, because this was just bad. Same fake berry cough syrup flavor, along with some fake jasmine flavoring. I took a sip and dumped the rest, and I don’t intend on keeping the rest of the leaf; not only would I not wish this tea on anyone else, it’s also fairly ancient (though clearly that hasn’t diminished this crazy flavoring), and I have been pretty much unsuccessful giving it away anyway. So, unexpected sipdown, 142.